I have always thought of the various videogame consoles that I own as “entertainment devices,” which is an acceptable distinction considering that they provide me with constant streams of entertainment on a daily basis.
Of course, not everyone shares my opinion on what a console is; many parents still view videogame consoles as mere toys, a fact that can probably explain the various outcries of videogame violence, and a distinction that Neil Thompson, Microsoft’s regional Xbox director in the UK, finds ridiculous.
Consoles, according to Thompson, are means of delivering entertainment to individuals of all ages. To that end, he also notes that parents would be wise to recognize and take advantage of the various “parental control” features that exist in these consoles. Of course, not every parent is aware of this feature, a problem that Thompson lays squarely on the feet of the games industry. “Every responsible member of the video games industry needs to step up and play as active a role as we can to keep this education process front of mind. It’s ELSPA’s [the British ESA] job to corral the industry around this agenda and ensure we’re all doing everything we can reasonably do.”
Wise words, indeed. Let’s hope that the industry takes them to heart.